News High ideals: Labour has built around 400 homes in each of its local authority areas since the election

Conservative councils build only half as much affordable and social housing

Michael McCarthy: What's so depressing is the inevitability of all this

You might think you've heard it all before, and in a sense you have. There are not huge disparities between the core predictions of how climate change will affect the UK, released by the Government yesterday, and the earlier set of forecasts produced seven years ago. The central estimates of temperature rise by the 2080s, for example, are in the same ballpark.

The outlook for the rest of the century: 40C summer days

Official report predicts impact of climate change on British weather

Kitchen bin war: tackling the food waste mountain

A Government campaign will see the end of confusing 'best before' labels, reduced packaging, and five new plants to convert waste into energy

Brown's authority dealt severe blow as Blears quits

Gordon Brown's authority as Prime Minister was dealt a severe blow today, as Communities Secretary Hazel Blears quit the Cabinet on the eve of crucial European and local elections.

Schools hit by swine flu rescheduling exams

Schools hit by swine flu were rescheduling GCSEs and A-levels today or asking for special consideration for pupils as the summer exam season begins.

South Downs get protected status

The South Downs, the 627 square-miles of undulating chalkland that spreads across Sussex and Hampshire, were designated Britain's newest national park yesterday – more than 60 years after the area was first recommended for protection.

No, minister: mandarins frustrate Miliband's green revolution

His brief is to lead the fight against climate change. But civil servants have other ideas

Desperate bid to save gardens from killer fungus

Government acts to counter threat to trees

Leading article: Save our shrubs

In these financially straitened times, the pressure on ministers to slash expenditure must be intense. So we should be grateful that the Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn, has resisted such pressures and chosen to devote £25m towards halting the spread of the phytophthora fungus through Britain.

Hilary Benn: We must produce more food – without risking farmers’ futures

I want British agriculture to produce as much food as possible. No ifs. No buts. The only requirements: that consumers want what’s produced and that the way it’s produced sustains our environment and safeguards our landscape.

Farmers 'should put food before wildlife'

Farmers have condemned moves to force them to leave fields uncultivated, warning that as much land as possible should be used to grow more crops and create jobs.

£4.3m to be spent protecting bees

An extra £4.3 million will go to protecting bees and conducting research into the threats they face, the Government announced today.

Benn taunted over Heathrow expansion

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn came under pressure today ahead of the Government's expected approval of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Brown faces backbench rebellion over airport expansion

Opposition to government plans to expand Britain's key airports was mounting yesterday with the emergence of a major backbench rebellion, the threat of more direct action and the prospect of a fresh inquiry into the policy. Already 41 Labour MPs have signed a motion demanding a vote over the proposed construction of a third runway at Heathrow, enough to overturn the Government's majority.

Farmers to be paid for conserving landscapes

Hill farmers will be paid to protect the natural resources, wildlife and character of their land under a new funding scheme announced by the Environment Department (Defra) today.

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Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape